By: Will Burchfield
Against all odds, Michael Fulmer’s name has popped up in trade rumors of late.
That was obviously a non-starter for Detroit. But it triggered further reaction, most notably that trading Fulmer could actually benefit the Tigers’ rebuild. That idea has been met with heavy resistance among the team’s fan base for the simple reason that Fulmer — young, talented, cheap and controllable — is precisely the kind of asset the Tigers are seeking.
Fear not, Tigers fans. It appears GM Al Avila has zero interest in dealing the 2016 A.L. Rookie of the Year.
Per Bob Nightengale, trade talks with the Cubs went nowhere when Chicago asked about Fulmer.
Nightengale later suggested that the Cubs would have had to offer both Ian Happ and Javy Baez for the Tigers to even consider moving Fulmer.
The Cubs did land a starting pitcher via the trade market, acquiring Jose Quintana on Thursday from the White Sox. In return, the White Sox received four prospects, including two among Baseball America’s midseason Top 100: outfielder Elroy Jimenez (No. 11 overall) and pitcher Dylan Cease (No. 90).
It stands to reason that the Tigers could have gotten a lot more for Fulmer, who’s younger, cheaper, under longer team control and altogether better than Quintana. But the White Sox are on a different rebuild path than Tigers, committed to tearing things down and starting from scratch. Avila has indicated no such desire to go down this road.
Rather, it appears the Tigers are trying to retool on the fly. In terms of staying competitive in the short-term, Fulmer is an essential piece of the equation.
Clearly, it will take a king’s ransom for Avila to even ponder the idea of trading him.